WOOD 100 Strategies for Success 2013: Technology Integration
September 8, 2013 | 7:36 pm CDT

WOOD 100 Strategies for Success 2013: Technology Integration

Ro-Bois-Tic, Saint-Apollinaire, QC — It’s been lights-out manufacturing for the panel processor, which has the distinction of being North America’s first one-man, one-robot woodworking factory. Read more about Ro-Bois-Tic's light's out facility.

PIN, Irving, TX — A designer and manufacturer of store fixtures, displays, hospitality and healthcare furnishings, PIN’s sales rose 36.6% last year, due in part to its ability to process product faster and more efficiently, says Jeff Pray, CEO. Read more about PIN's technology integration.

Nucraft Furniture, Comstock Park, MI — The contract furniture maker’s green and lean efforts have gained notice from consumers and industry alike throughout North America. Just recently, it became the first North American office furniture company to be issued an Environmental Product Declaration. Read more about Nucraft Furniture.

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Marketing & Investment Strategies of the WOOD 100

Help your wood products company grow by utilizing the proven strategies from the WOOD 100. A panel of experts from Wood Products' WOOD 100 share their tips and techniques for: marketing and social media, improving productivity, and customer service.

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Accent Woodworks, Canton, MI
The cabinet and countertop manufacturer grew slightly in 2012, and President Bill Albert projects 2013 sales to be even better. Productivity has been aided by the purchase of a new edgebander last year and a new sander in 2013.

Copperstate Cabinet Co., Phoenix, AZ
The custom cabinetry maker’s investment in CNC equipment and software helped improve productivity and enhance the company’s reputation for quality work and service, says Tim Dombrowski, owner and president. A new edgebander is in place for 2013.

Adams Group, North Port, FL
The architectural casework and millwork firm’s investments in technology have paid off, with 2012 sales growing 34.9%. The include: a Ligmatech case clamp, ABD 150 dowel drill/inserter, Brandt edgebander and Star V-groover, with 2013 plans for a Homag Advantage. With an eye to improving profit margins, Joe West, director of business development & marketing, says “Our plan is that we spend more time with our customers, designers and architects to work directly on their specific projects. This allows us to create a more advanced credibility of our services as well as encourage best products and practices to be incorporated in each project.”

Premier EuroCase, Denver, CO
In 2012 the firm added a Homag laserTec laser edgebander to produce seamless edges on its store fixtures and components. On the heels of that comes news PE, which also makes Roücke laminated panels, can now produce high gloss acrylic panels on its new Bürkle laminating line, says Owner Andy Wilzoch.

Cabinets by Baja Inc., San Diego, CA
A supplier of fixtures to the hospitality and gaming industry, CEO Manuel Rios says the firm has been involved in the construction and remodeling of many well-known hotels, resulting in 2012 sales growth of 33.3%. Spas and related projects are also a specialty, including the recently completed spa at City Center and Cosmopolitan in Las Vegas. At its factories in Tijuana, Mexico and Baja, CA, capabilities include AutoCAD drawings. New in 2012 was a Morbidelli CNC machining center and Griggio sliding saw, with more CNC machine upgrades planned.

Premium Woods LLC, Lincoln, NE
Manufacturing improvements, including the addition of a CNC router, helped this caseworks and countertop firm grow sales 52.7%, says President Bob Long. “[We] continually review our pricing structure and improve our manufacturing process,” he adds.

Elliott Woodworking, Pontiac, MI
The dovetail drawer box maker’s sales grew 36.7% and predictions for 2013 are even better. Along with purchasing an RF glue press and CNC dovetailer, the company plans to add a shifting blade gang ripsaw. And although the economy is still a concern, “By not having any debt on the books, I’m better positioned to weather a downturn,” says Owner Mark Elliott.

Island Custom Cabinetry, Sidney, BC
“We positively encourage our staff to always try harder to make the projects we are building even more beautiful than the last,” says President Jack Van Domselaar of the cabinet firm’s quest for success. To improve productivity, the company also replaced its vertical panel saw with a new sliding table saw, with more equipment perhaps on the way.

Ranier Woodworking, Tacoma, WA
“We revamped our door department to increase productivity while specializing in ‘high-volume’ selections. Balancing our approach, low volume selections will be outsourced in the future,” says Managing Director Scott Reader. “We also implemented a new sanding line with multiple pieces of equipment reducing head count while increasing capacity. The cabinet firm’s sales grew 20.3%.

Stanley Furniture, Stanley, VA
The furniture maker invested $8 million to revamp its 500,000-square-foot Robbinsville, NC, plant and improve the productivity of its Young America line. Stanley was awarded a 2013 WMIA Wooden Globe for its efforts.

Jorgensen-Carr Ltd., Jersey City, NJ
With 2012 sales up 8.3%, the residential architectural millwork firm looks to do even better this year, says President Michael Jorgensen. Combining handcraftsmanship with high technology, the company purchased more routers for the shop and looks to add a Kaeser compressor.

Lakeside Cabinets and Woodworking, Nowthen, MN
The custom cabinet shop’s 2012 sales surged 61.5%, aided by increased productivity from its new door framing table, Razor-Gage optimizing saw and software. “The best investment was a software program to track every production minute and every dollar spent on materials,” says Owner Troy Bednarz.

Northern Contours, St. Paul, MN
Recognized for its innovative cabinet components, the firm’s production facilities incorporate flat and membrane pressing — including one with a deep press tray for large components, CNC routing, edgebanding, boring and other traditional woodworking processes. “As raw material costs have eroded profit margins, we look internally to implement process improvement methods that will increase yields and reduce waste,” says Lary Skow, vice president of sales and marketing.

Boiseries Métropolitaines, St. Basile Le Grand, QC
A maker of stair components, the firm is “always looking for new techniques to do better and at a lower cost.” Among the purchases to improve productivity was a planer/sander, says Owner Denis Beauchesne.

Southern Craftsman Associates, Lawrenceville, GA
Increased capabilities helped the millwork firm’s sales grow 59.9%. Along with increasing the size of its facility, investments were also made in a beam saw and air compressor, says Barry Marston, president and CEO. New edgebanding and sanding machines are planned.

Koetter Woodworking, Borden, IN
At the 641,000-square-foot plant, the moulding and millwork firm invested in Weinig Group rough mill equipment, including a LuxScan Scanner and Chop System. An estimated 16 million board feet of material can be processed on an annual basis. Koetter was awarded a 2013 WMIA Wooden Globe for its efforts.

North American Plywood Corp., Parsippany, NJ
The panel and component maker expanded its capabilities, growing sales 5.4%. General Manager Donald Kuser says with the Bürkle line, the firm has “one of the largest automated flat UV finishing lines in North America.” Other capabilities include: cut-to-size, routing, PUR laminating and edgebanding.

Vision Kitchen & Bath, Tampa, FL
Service, quality and reduced delivery times helped the kitchen and bath remodeler stay successful, says Jerry Krech, general manager. New spray equipment is aiding the production of the cabinetry.

Ethan Allen, Danbury, CT
The residential furniture maker repositioned to grow through: expanded offerings, a strengthened interior design network, technology added to personal service, an advantage in manufacturing and logistics through vertical integration, and a “Luxury Made Affordable” message.

Read more 2013 WOOD 100 Strategies for Success

WOOD 100 Strategies for Success 2013: Technology Integration

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